August 17, 2017

Baking The Perfect Madeira Cake

After several requests from workshop students, I am posting the “Madeira Cake” blog.  Good luck and hope this helps you.

Before working at Lindy’s I had never made a Madeira cake.  My first attempts weren’t great – they came out of the oven domed, very crispy on the outside and really dry.  I had conquered the decorating but the cakes weren’t getting eaten! So Lindy set me a challenge –  to create the perfect Madeira!

Well it’s taken three attempts and I’ve cracked it.  I used Lindy’s 8” Round Madeira recipe (see below).
Here are the extra tips Lindy has given me from her years of  baking experience, plus a few of my own :

  1. Use real unsalted butter.  Margarine and spreads have a too high water content.
  2. Make sure you take your butter and eggs out of the fridge so they can reach room temperature.
  3. Lindy’s Madeira should be cooked at 160°C but, as I have a fan oven, I turn it down 20 degrees to 140°C and place a bowl of water on the shelf.  My oven has baking trays that slide directly into it so I put one tray in for the cake to sit on and place another tray above it giving enough room for the cake tin plus about three inches clearance.  If you don’t have trays that slide in, just use the shelves and place a baking sheet under the cake and on the shelf above.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until white.  What I do is turn on the mixer and leave it to do it’s thing while I get on with the next stage.  This will take about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Line the inside of the tin as usual and then line the outside of the tin with newspaper – I use lots – at least 5 pages folded to about the height of the tin and secured with Sellotape.  This means that the cake will cook slower around the outside and more evenly throughout so you do not end up with a dome in the middle.
  6. After I have added the eggs (each with a little flour to stop curdling) I then add the flavouring.  Lindy’s recipe asks for the zest of two lemons.  I love lemony flavours so I add the zest of four lemons and the juice of half a lemon (make sure you put a good spoonful of flour in with this to stop curdling).  At this stage you can add glycerine.  You need ¼ teaspoon per egg.  This helps to keep the cake moist.  Add the remainder of the flour and gently fold in.
  7. When you spoon the mixture into the baking tin you need to scoop out the middle, so all the mixture is around the side of the cake tin and you can see the tin at the bottom (a bit like a ring doughnut!)  Don’t be nervous and just make a small dip in the middle – you really need to scoop it up the sides of the tin.
  8. Put it in the oven and bake for 1½ hours.  Check after this time with a skewer in the middle.  If it comes out clean the cake is done.  If not, depending on how much ingredient sticks to the skewer, give it 10 minutes more until the skewer comes out clean.  My cakes take longer than the recipe states because of the newspaper the lower cooking temperature – usually about 2-2¼ hours so don’t worry if it is still a bit “wobbly” at 1¾ hours.  Just check every 10 minutes.
  9. Leave your cake in the tin to cool, then transfer to a cooling rack.

This should produce a firm but moist cake.  Why not have a go!

Jane Dolder

Madeira baked as a mini cake

Madeira baked as a mini cake using a multi mini tin

8” Madeira Cake

350g (12 oz)              Unsalted Butter

350g (12 oz)              Caster Sugar

350g (12 oz)              Self Raising Flour

175g (6oz)                 Plain Flour

6                                Large Eggs

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Grease and line the cake tin (pan) with baking parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light, fluffy and pale. Sift the flours together in a separate bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs into the creamed mixture, one at a time, following each with a spoonful of flour, to prevent the mixture curdling.
  4. Sift the remaining flour into the creamed mixture and fold in carefully with a large metal spoon.
  5. Transfer to the lined bakeware and bake, see above but everyone’s oven is different.. When the cake is ready it will be well risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool then, leaving the lining paper on, wrap the cake in foil or place in an airtight container for at least 12 hours before cutting, to allow the cake to settle.

Different sized/shape tin? Please click here to see a simple chart for changing quantities

If you fancy having a go at baking a batch of madeira minis, we sell some wonderful sets of multi-mini tins, available through our online shop. They come in 3 sizes: 5cm (2in), 6.5cm (2.5in) and 7.5cm (3in), just click on the size that interests you for more information. Have FUN!



  1. Hi
    I’ve been grateful for help previously and now I need some more advice!. Could you please tell me how long before the required dateI can I marzipan and fondant ice a wedding cake. I’d like to do it as far in advance as possible. Thanks, I really appreciate the help and support from this site.
    Best wishes

  2. Hi Lindsy,
    I am so happy to storm onto your site. What a site! Filled with useful tips and information. I have wasted so much flour trying to make madera cake yet without success. I am making your recepie now and hopefully it will go well this time. But I must say when I saw the measurement for 12″ cake, I felt the flour was too much but I will trust your judgement as I am a novice when it comes to baking.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Does it matter where in the oven I out the additional tin / bowl with water in? Above or below the cake?

  4. Hello Joy,
    Yes the flour quantity is correct! Good Luck

  5. Hi Lindy

    I’ve made your Madeira many times with success. Ive made a large 14 inch Madeira too early for a wedding could you tell me the best way to store before I decorate it please? It’s needed in a week but I’m a bit concerned about it in this warm weather.



  6. Hi Lynn,
    Lindy’s rule with a Madeira is 1 week to bake and decorate and 1 week to eat, so it should be fine.
    Otherwise you can freeze an undecorated madeira and take it out the night before decorating it.
    Happy baking!

  7. I would like to thank you for recipe tips and hints. Just baked my best ever Madeira cake I was doing the eleven inch square for a wedding. Perfectly level. Didn’t get to taste . Look forward to buying your books as the quantities were perfect. 3inch cake.

  8. Lindy & Jane, thank you for this post – I’ve been worrying about making a number shaped ’30’ cake for my partner’s birthday… I’m a keen baker but have never attempted a novelty type cake before. I followed the instructions exactly and got two lovely flat madiera cakes which are now sitting in an airtight container ready to be filled with jam /buttercream and be covered in sugarpaste tomorrow! Fingers crossed. This blog and site are excellent – keep up the good work!

  9. Sue Archbold says:

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever written on a blog but I just have to say I love your madeira recipe and instructions. I’ve now made about 10 cakes – one and two tier and I can’t believe how successful they’ve been. I’ve always thought I was a rubbish baker so just bought cakes to decorate – now I don’t need to . Thanks very much – Sue x

  10. Cath Deans says:

    Dear Lindy

    I went on one of your courses about 3 years ago and now have my own cake business near High Wycombe. I just wanted to say thanks SO much and I always use your recipes. I am sitting here, at half eleven pm, waiting for an absolutely huge maderia are to finish cooking for a wedding on Saturday. Yes and it has glycerine and newspaper etc! If I hadn’t been on your course back then, I could be asleep in bed right now! Warmest wishes. Cath x

  11. I have just made my 1st ever madeira cake, using all your tips it has turned out very well.

    I only used 2/3 of the amount, but still put it in an 8 inch tin and it took 1hr 25 min. at 140 in a fan oven.

    I have not read all the posts, so excuse me if I am repeating a Q but any comments or suggestions for doing this in a bread machine?

    thanks for the recipe and tips


  12. Hello Sue,
    Thanks for the comments – it’s always great to hear positive feedback on our blog.
    Good luck with your sugarcrafting!

  13. Hello Cath,
    Thanks for your kind comments. Yes there are positives to not getting involved with sugarcraft – like early nights!! It’s great to hear that you have taken the plunge and started a new business. We wish you lots of luck with it and remember, with sugarcraft you are constantly learning new things – that’s what makes it so much fun!!

  14. Hello Chris,
    I really don’t know if you could do this, have any of our followers tried it? Please let us know.

  15. Hi, I’ve made your madeira cake before and it was delicious, but I am now making one dairy free so a little boy with a dairy allergy can enjoy some cake. I have Pure vegetable spread which is fine in normal cakes, I was wondering how this will affect a madeira cake as your first tip says marg and spreads have too high a water content!

  16. Do you have any tips on baking a large madeira cake? I’ve previously used your recipe to bake smaller cakes but need to make a 14″ square cake. I’ve read that I should use a cake core, but can’t see how this fits in with your suggestion of scooping the cake mix out of the middle of the pan.

  17. Hi Jane,

    I was wondering if you could advise if using your measurements for the 8 inch cake mix would be ok to use in a 10 x 8 oval tin or should I use a bigger mix? Also could you advise on the timings I should use to whichever cake mix amount You advise please? I follow your instructions set out above and bake my 8 inch round cake on 140 deg for 2 & 1/4 hrs which comes out perfect. I am not sure if this would be the same as the tin is not circle or square and I don’t want the outer part burnt or centre under cooked.

    Many thanks


    Hi Cerys

    I have attached a link to help with changing the recipe quanitities. In terms of cooking times, we would suggest keeping the the oven at 140 and for the same time, but would recommend wrapping the outside of the tin in newspaper to prevent the sides burning. Then check to see how it is doing after the 2 1/4 hours!!

    Good Luck

  19. Hi Anne

    If its a fruit cake it can be covered a couple of months before the wedding!! Hope this is far enough advanced for you!! Just remember you need to have a cover between the cake and the cake board as the fruit will react with the foil covering!

    Good Luck with the Cake!!

  20. Hi Charlotte
    It doesn’t matter where in the oven the water goes, as long as it goes in! Lindy always puts in the bottom!
    Hope this helps

  21. Hi Lindy,

    Do you have any red velvet cake recipes…( love your maderia recipe), and can’t find any need it for this week. Help!!


  22. Hi Caroline
    We don’t have any red velvet cake recipes, hope you managed to find what you are looking for!


  23. BensGrandad says:

    I am making a 12in (31cm) sq sponge cake. I read recipe for a 3 tier wedding cake and it showed sizes of 12, 20 and 28cm. If I combine the quantities for the 12 and 20cm cake would that be sufficient for a 31cm cake. Also would I need to combine the cooking times ie 25 mins and 30 mins so 55mins in total. I saw on this website that the ingredients for a 12 in sq from a base 8in sq cake is 3 times the quantity.

  24. BensGrandad says:

    Sorry missed out the word Madeira last sentence should have read 12in Madeira from a base 8 in sq 3 times the quantity

  25. Vicky Harris says:

    Thank you very much for these tips on baking the perfect madeira cake. I made two yesterday and they are perfect. I followed all your instructions, and was abit worried about making the doughnut shape before I put them into the oven, but was amazed at the end result. Thank you.x

  26. Valerie Chian says:

    Hi Lindy,
    How moist will the cake be? I read that you need to leave the cake for a day or 2 for the cake to be more moist. Is that true? My first attempt sunk in the middle while cooling but was very moist after 2 days but the 2nd attempt which rose perfectly was rather dry even after 2 days. Will the addition of some milk make it more moist? Can cakes using milk withstand without refrigeration in a hot and humid climate like Singapore?

  27. Hi Lindy,

    I tried to reduce the sugar (to 250gm) in the recipe as it was too sweet but the cake came out very very dry. I read that yogurt can be added to cakes to make it more moist. Can it be done for this recipe? How long can it last in a very hot and humid environment like Singapore?

  28. Dear Chantal

    A cake core can be used for baking larger cakes. You would not scoop out the middle in this instance, the batter is poured in and around the core. We sell the heating core on our online shop. Here is a link to it:-

    Happy Baking!

  29. Hi

    A 12″ square cake would be 3 times the quantity of an 8″ square recipe. Here is a link to our blog post about quantities:-

    Hope this helps!


  30. Hi Marsha, As you say, Lindy does not recommend using vegetable spreads in a madeira cake as they are too watery. Unfortunately we haven’t found a dairy free alternative for this cake so without trying something out first, it would be difficult to recommend anything. Have you tried going onto a “dairy free” website or typing into Google to try and find a recipe to use. I know you can use oil in some cakes, but not sure how this would work in a madeira cake. Sorry we can’t be of any help, but if you do find a good recipe we would love to hear it.

  31. Hi Lindy,

    I am using your recipe for a 10 inch Madeira. How long would you recommend I cook this for? 2 hours?

    Thanks in advance
    Ciara x

  32. Hi Ciara
    If you have Lindy’s Contemporary Cake Decoarting Bible there is a chart for different sizes of madeira cake and baking times on page 14. For a 10″ round it would take 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours to bake at 160c/325F/Gas 3.
    Happy Baking!

  33. Hello Valerie,
    A Madeira cake needs to develop over a few days, so the longer you leave it the more moist it becomes. If you use all the tips in our post the cake should be moist enough without adding milk. Our Madeira recipe will keep for 2 weeks, but not sure how long it will keep if you added milk.

  34. Hello Valerie,
    I know you can add yoghurt to some cake recipes, but I’m not sure it would work with a Madeira. Does anyone have any experience of this?

  35. Hi,

    I’d like to use your madeira recipe for a 14 inch square. If I multiply your 6-egg recipe by 4 will this give me the correct quantities?


  36. Hi Chantal
    That looks the right calculation!

  37. Hi team…please forgive me if this question has already been answered in the previous comments….I have agreed somewhat foolishly to bake a cake for my brother’s 30th. I plan on making a 8″ square Madeira cake, of which it will be the first I’ve made. I will be putting fondant icing on it. I plan to bake the cake this weekend so it is done in time for his birthday, but I wondered how early I can put the fondant on it if I am going to use buttercream to attach it. Would I need to refrigerate the cake as I don’t have an airtight container big enough to store the cake in. And advice is welcomed. Thanks ❤

  38. Hi there Claire, Lindy always says you have a week to decorate and a week to eat! After you have baked the cake, wrap it in foil or parchment until you deocrate it. Once decorated, Lindy never stores cakes in an airtight container, as it affects the sugarpaste. Lindy always stores in a cake box.
    Hope this helps and good luck with cake!

  39. Thanks Fiona ❤

  40. Dawn Carter says:

    I have used this recipe several times now to make large 12″ square cakes and it has not failed me once, always worrying sccoping the middle out so much but it always comes out perfect, another cake to make soon for a friends 30th bday so this recipe will be getting used once again, thank you so much for a great recipe :)

  41. Jane Nelson says:

    Oh NO. I’ve used your fantastic Madeira recipe before (once a year on my son’s birthday ).

    His birthday is this Saturday (1 Nov) and I baked a 10″ Square and a 6″ Square last night (which somehow I plan to transform into a pirate ship).

    I just realised that I used medium eggs instead of large ones. And on the 10″ (12 eggs) I may have only used 2 teaspoons instead of 3 teaspoons (as I lost count and figured too little better than too much) .

    Does this mean the cake will get dry quickly? I planned to start carving and decorating tomorrow night. Should I stick it in the freezer until then?

    Many thanks


  42. Thank you for your lovely feedback. We are glad we can help.

  43. Hi Jane
    Sorry we didn’t manage to get back to you last week, hope the cake went well, we think the cake may have been a little drier than usual but should have been okay, but we were not sure what you measuring in teaspoons?

  44. Hi, in your tips you said we can add GLYCERINE, what glycerine? is there edible glycerine? if so where can i get it and what is it called?

  45. Hi there
    Glycerine is a slightly sweet syrup which helps to keep the cake moist, it is edible, and is available in home baking section in most supermarkets or in pharmacies.
    Good luck with the madeira cake

  46. Hi Lindy / Jane

    Please can you help. I have baked a 10inch round on Sunday following all the instructions including additional hints/tips you have give above. Baked on 140 for 2 hrs and skewer come out completely clean (I inserted it in several places). I left it to cool in the tin overnight and when I cut it open it was slightly undercooked and when I pressed my finger on it the sponge sounded squidgy.

    I baked another 10 inch last night exactly the same but cooked it for 2hrs + 15mins again skewer comes out absolutely clean. Left it overnight to cool in the tin. I cut the top off this morning and I still see there is tiny bits of the cake undercooked and again pressing finger onto sponge is sounding squidgy.

    Is the cake supposed to sound like this as part of it being “moist” ? I am at a complete loss as why the skewer is coming out clean yet there are bits where it looks undercooked. Can the cake be used or am I throwing another one in the bin?


  47. Hi Cerys
    Madeira cakes are generally more moist than standard sponges so maybe it is actually cooked through but doesn’t look like it. There is no reason why you can’t eat it and it would be a good test to see what it tastes like and whether it really is undercooked.

    I have had a word with Jane, our cake baking specialist, and she says her 8″ madeira cake takes 2hrs 20 mins in her oven, so perhaps you might need to bake it for at least 2hrs 30 mins or even longer. It all depends on your oven, so unfortunately it might be a case of trial and error. It sounds like you are doing the right things by testing in other places besides the middle.

    Hope this helps.

  48. Just got your book I ordered from today. Tip on Madeira cakeI got this blog address. You talked about 1week baking and decorating and another week to eat.
    Question :1
    After cooling the cake, can it be wrapped in foil paper and store in the fridge or freezer? And also how long can it be stored in the freezer?

    Question 2:
    Also how long after taking it out from the freezer can one decorate it? i saw from the above that it can be store in an airtight container, but before putting it in an airtight container do you need to wrap in foil paper?


  49. Hi Pat
    After cooling the cake, we wrap the cake in greaseproof paper then foil, keep cool and dry, but not in the fridge. Once out of the freezer the cake does not need to be fully defrosted but it does need to have started defrosting. There is no rule on timings here, but if the cake has not defrosted enough, the moisture will affect the suagrpaste. The cake can only be stored in an airtight container up to the point that it is decorated. You should never store a cake decorated with sugarpaste in an airtight container, a box will suffice.
    Good Luck

  50. What a fantastic site!! Thanks ever so much. Sorry if it’s written and I have missed it but is Lindy’s 8″ madeira recipe above for a round or square tin? Can’t wait to make my husband a birthday cake!! :) x

  51. Hi Zanne,
    Thank you for your lovely comments about our blog.
    All of Lindy’s recipes are for round tins.
    We hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  52. Hi

    How do I alter the ingredients to make a chocolate madeira cake?


  53. Clare Ballam says:


    I am looking for a madeira recipe using vanilla instead. So how much vanilla should I use instead of the lemon and some recipes that I have seen use milk in it as well?

    I would really appreciate your help.

  54. Hi lindy
    I baked a madeira last nite i wrapped up in foil and placed in fridge i just wanted t know will it keep and if i were to fill fill,glaze and ice will it last till next sat as its for my sons christening

  55. Hi,
    How advanced should i bake a cake for Saturday is there a chance i could cook it the earliest Tuesday ss I’ve alot to do this week not only that Im a busy mammy of 3 and have to organise a christening

  56. Hi Emmalou

    If you are baking a madeira cake, it should last about 2 weeks. A week to decorate and a week to eat!

    Fruit cakes last for a very long time, so it depends what type of cake you are baking.

    Hope this helps.


  57. Hi Wendy

    Thanks for your enquiry about making a chocolate madeira cake.

    In all Lindy’s books there is a very nice chocolate cake receipe (not madeira).

    If you wanted to try to alter a madeira recipe you could try replacing some of the plain flour with the same amount of cocoa.


  58. Hi Emmalou

    If you have baked the madeira cake you can cover it in greaseproof paper and foil and keep until you want to decoarate it. Once you have put on your icing it needs to be kept in a cardboard box, not an airtight container.


  59. Hi Clare

    If you want to replace the lemon with vanilla, then try using a tablespoon of vanilla. It depends how much vanilla flavour you like so it is up to your personal taste.

    We don’t use milk in our recipe so can’t comment on that.

    Kind regards

  60. Hi

    I have baked your madeira cake before and it has come out beautifully. I am now risking trying a 3d shaped gruffalo birthday cake for a birthday party on 26th Jan and my question is this. Is glycerine essential? I intend to cut and sculpt the cake, does this change how long it will last and when it should be baked? Should i bake it, let it settle then carve and decorate? How long? I ask because once carved I will need to cover with buttercream and allow to harden before icing. I am just a little concerned about timings. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks Lucy

  61. PS what is better to cover with, ganache or buttercream?


  62. Hi Lucy

    It is not essential to put glycerine in the madeira cake – it is used to make the cake more moist.
    Ideally you should let the cake settle 24hrs before carving. An alternative would be to freeze the cake as it’s easier to carve, although it may need to defrost slightly before carving it.

    I would cover the cake with buttercream before covering in the icing.

    Good luck with your cake!


  63. Caroline Halliday says:

    Just want to say what a great blog. I have a few of Lindy’s books and have used the madeira cake recipe quite a number of times with varying degrees of success- I am still trying to master it! The tips here are fab and I will continue to try. I have a couple of questions though that I hope you can help with.

    Last night I baked a monster 11 inch square madeira cake, (I am attempting the fab cushion stack cake for my friend’s birthday) and my arm was nearly falling off by the time I folded in the flour (not to mention a blister on my finger!). I don’t have a food processor, but if I did, would it be OK to use this to fold the flour in or must it be done by hand?

    Secondly, a question about storage. As per Lindy’s advice, I keep my completed cakes in a cake box in a cool cupboard. My trouble comes after they have been cut. I left one in the cake box and although the sugarpaste was great, the edges of the cake really dried out (cake box not airtight). On 2 other separate occasions I have put other cut cakes in airtight containers, and on both occasions (even in my cool place) the madeira has stayed fine but the sugarpaste has gone horribly sticky, even though it had been properly set before going into the airtight containers. Your advice would be appreciated on how to correctly store after cutting. It seems that if my cake is OK the icing suffers, or if the icing is OK the cake suffers.

    My last 2 questions are also about baking the madeira cake. I always do my baking in the evening, so it tends to be late when the cake comes out of the oven. This may sound mad but I often go to bed and set the alarm for 3am to get up then and put the cake away in tin foil once it is cold. Would it do the cake any harm if I was to leave it sitting out all night to save me getting out of bed in the wee small hours, or is it best to store the cake away as soon as possible after it is cold to keep it fresh? I always wait then for 12 hours before levelling the top and freezing. Will it make a difference to the freshness of the cake if I wait 12 hours before freezing or is it best to freeze straight away as soon as the cake is cold? (I like to wait for the 12 hours and level the cake so I can check it is edible before I freeze it).

    Sorry, I’ve written rather a lot, I do feel a bit cheeky asking so many things.
    Thanks very much for your time,

  64. Hey guys, I’m attempting this tonight (short notice! EKK My son changed his mind on cake design at the last minute so I’m trying to do a carved cake ) can I cook more than 1 8″ round at a time in the oven or just one at a time. Also when scooping out the center to I redistrubute that batter to the sides of the cake or remove it completly? How large of a scoop are we talking about? Wish you could make a video or do a picture tutorial to go along with these great tips!

  65. Hi there, I have 2 questions. The 1st one is, I only have medium eggs how many extra should I add to equal large eggs with the 8inch recipe for example and how would I work it out for the other cake sizes. My 2nd question is any tips for making a giant cupcake as mine always seems to take forever to cook and always over cooks on the outside of the cake which leaves it pretty hard. The cake tin uses a 6 egg recipe. No sure if this is something you have done before but would appreciate your help.


  66. How much butter and sugar should I use for the buttercream crumb coat under the sugar paste on a 10 inch square cake please?

  67. would you wrap the outside of the tin with newspaper if i use your chocolate cake recipe?(not the choc fudge one)

  68. I had a go at making a 9 and 6 inch and decided to test my oven. I did use the 140 degrees for my fan oven and I did wrap the caked tins in 5 sheets of newspaper. I put a tray above the tin, but forgot the tray underneath. I made a well in the middle but probably not enough because I still had a dome effect but both my cakes did rise to a good 3 inches. However, when I have leveled the cakes and tasted the dome section it does taste dry. Tasty but dry. So now am going to try with the tray underneath, the water and the glycerine. How much longer does each cake take when baking at the lower temperature, just worried I had over baked it?

  69. Hi, I have been asked to do an orange cake to be covered in fondant. Do you think I could use this recipe and use orange peel/juice instead of lemon? Or should/can I add some orange oil.
    Any help would be great, thanks.

  70. Hi Sarah
    Yes you can add orange zest to this cake.
    Happy Baking!

  71. Hi Elaine

    You do not need to wrap newspaper around this cake but it depends on how your oven cooks. Also, it might be advisable to put newspaper round if you are making a large cake.

    Kind Regards

  72. Hi Caroline

    Thanks for your questions about storing a madeira cake. We always recommend keeping it in a cardboard cakebox once it has the sugarpaste on. As you say, if you keep it in an airtight container it will go sticky. Once the cake has been cut you could always place some tinfoil over the exposed sides of the cake to keep those bits fresh.

    That is very dedicated setting your alarm for 3am to put your cake away!! I think that if you leave the cake out all night it probably would compromise the freshness. If you are going to freeze the cake I would suggest doing that reasonably soon, as every day left out makes it older and therefore slightly less fresh.

    Regarding the folding in the flour. You could use a cake whisk (electric) or a kenwood mixer. Not sure that a food processor would do the job but you could always give it a try. As you know, it is a very heavy mixture by the time the flour is put in.

    Good luck with your cake baking.

    Kind regards

  73. Hi Rachael

    Sorry about not getting back to your query earlier. Yes, you can cook more than one cake at a time.

    Where the recipe says scoop to the sides, it just means to push the batter to the sides so that there is a slight dip in the middle so that when it bakes it will naturally rise in the top and therefore won’t be much higher than the sides.

    Hope this makes sense and hope your cake turned out okay.

    Kind regards

  74. Hi Caroline

    Sorry, but we haven’t tried using a giant cake mould so can’t really advise on this. Does anyone else have any tips they can offer to Caroline?

    Regarding the medium sized eggs, it is really trial and error how much extra you put in if you don’t have the right size. What I do is beat up an extra egg and use what I think. I am not sure that you can accurately change the quantities of egg sizes, so it would probably be better to use the size stated in the recipe if you are not confident enough to guess.

    Good luck

  75. Hi Jane

    Lindy’s recipe makes 450g using 110g unsalted butter, 350g icing sugar and 15-30ml water or milk.

    This should be enough to cover a 10″ cake depending on how thick you spread it.

    Hope this helps.

  76. Dear Susie,
    Thanks so much for your help. You will have noticed I sent the same question twice (and another last night) as my computer has been playing up and I wasn’t sure if the questions were submitted correctly. Please ignore all the duplicates!
    Thanks again

  77. How much cocoa should I add to make this a chocolate madeira please & how much plain flue should I leave out? Can anyone help please? Thank you!


  78. Hi there, love your blogs. Can i ask the recipe for madeira, when you say for 8″ does this mean 2 8″ round tins or just the 1?

    Thanks xx

  79. Hi Chris

    This recipe is just for the one cake.


  80. Hi Joanne

    We don’t usually adapt the madeira cake with cocoa. Lindy has a good chocolate cake recipe in most of her books if you have one.

    It would depend on the size of cake you are baking, but if you wanted to experiment I would say whatever you take out of flour, that would be how much cocoa to use.

    Hope this helps

  81. Hi Karen
    The cake will have a slight dome, this is not a problem as long as the cake is 3″ deep. In Jane’s fan oven the cake takes about 2 hours, but we would recommend checking after 1 1/2hours and then keep an eye on it. The cake will also become more moist the longer it is left. Try with the tray underneath and see how you get on!

  82. Bonnie Conlin says:

    Hi, I’ve just followed this recipe for Madeira cake…to the LETTER, even using the glycerine. I have found it to be very cookie like on the top and the mixture was very stiff. Any ideas what I did wrong? I have a fan oven and used a bowl of water in it.

  83. Bonnie Conlin says:

    My cake is still in the oven and has been now for almost 2hours and it is still wet in the centre. I’ve followed the above to THE letter even using the glycerine…any ideas? I think the cake will be very dry on the outside when it’s eventually cooked.

  84. Great recipe and easy to follow, thanks mine turned out great

  85. Hi Bonnie

    Hope your cake turned out okay. Baking times are always approximate as everyone’s ovens vary. If you stick a skewer in the middle and also in a couple of places around the side, it should come out clean if it is cooked.

    If you place a baking tray at the bottom of the oven with water in, it keeps the air in the oven moist. Or some people even wrap their cake tin with newspaper to help keep the cake moist.


  86. Hi Bonnie

    Sorry I didn’t see your earlier message. Madeira cake mix is always very stiff and sometimes the top can be a bit crispy. You could slice off the top and hopefully your cake will be moist underneath.


  87. Hi Lindys team,

    Im going to use this recipe and your tis to bake a medeira cake tonight for my mums birthday on friday. Would you suggest waiting a few days before decorating with icing etc?
    Also, when you say scrape the middle up the sides do you mean so you can actually see the bottom of the tin in the middle? Wont the mixture just rung back into the centre?
    Also if i cover the outside with newspaper should i stil use a bowl of water in the oven or do i do one or the other?
    Any help would greatly be appreciated.

  88. Hi Charlotte

    As long as your cake is completely cold it will be ok to decorate. Keep in an airtight container once cooled, until you want to decorate it. Then, once covered in sugarpaste, store in a cake box.

    When you put the cake in the oven, just scrape some of the mixture to the sides a little so that when your cake rises in the middle it won’t be so noticeable.

    If you want to cover your tin with newspaper and put a bowl of water in the oven, that is ok. I usually just use a tin of water to keep my cakes moist. You might want to slice off the top of the cake if it goes a bit crusty once cooked.

    All baking times are approximate and it will depend on your oven how long it needs to be baked for. Just test the middle and sides with a skewer and if it comes away clean then it is done.

    Good luck

  89. Hi, Could you advise me on this matter. I’ve always lined the base and sides of my cake tin and I always wrap outside with newspaper, but I’ve recently read somewhere that it’s better not to line the sides of the cake tin as butter and flour is better so you only need to line the base, as the cake will rise better having the sides of the cake tin to stick too.
    What’s your opinion on this, would appreciate your help.

    Thanks Caroline

  90. Candy Hopkins says:

    Hi, I’ve been asked to make a friends daughters Birthday cake. She would like a plain sponge, like madeira. Do you have a nice recipe for a nice vanilla sponge please? Thank you.

  91. Hi Candy

    Lindy has a good recipe for madeira cake which she always uses. Click on the link below:

    Good luck.

  92. How deep a cake does this recipe make? I need a 10 inch cake and want jam in the middle, will 1.5 x the recipe be deep enough to cut in half?

  93. Hi, I came accross your recipe and thought I’d use it for a freinds 50th birthday. I replaces rgular flour/sef-rasing flour with Gluten Free one and addes 2 tsp of Vanilla Extract. I have followed the ingredients stated and when I had put the cake in the oven, I realised I forgot the glycerine (since it was not started in the ingredients list). The cake is in the oven now, so hopefully it will still come out moist – cos I’d hate to thing the cake would be too dry! Any tip on addin moisture afterwards, like with a lemon drizzle cake?)

  94. I had a few questions, but already answered above, great blog and very helpful – thanks James

  95. Dear Angela

    Once the cake is levelled it should be about 3″ deep. This will be deep enough to cut in half.



  96. hello,

    ive made the madeira twice now from your recent cake bible and both times the cake has cooked perfectly on the outside but stays uncooked in the middle and seems very doughy/oily.
    how can i stop this from happening and do you have any tips ?


  97. Hi Sylvia

    Sorry about the delay in replying – we have been very busy in the office packing orders etc. Jane suggested mixing up a sugar syrup to add moisture, but this would be better to add when the cake is warm.

    Adding glycerine is not necessary which is why it is not included in the recipe, but is just an extra if you want a really moist cake.

    Hope this helps and your cake turned out ok in the end as we don’t recommend changing the flour for gluten free. You might need to find an alternative recipe especially for gluten free.


  98. Hi Caroline,

    We would recommend lining the sides and the bottom of a deep cake, but you could always conduct your own experiment!

    Good luck.

  99. Hi Derek

    Sorry to hear your madeira cake is not turning out well. Try turning down your oven a bit and check with a skewer to see when it is cooked. It sounds like it might be cooking too fast on the outside.

    Good luck.



    I have a gas oven and am worried in case the paper round the cake tin catches fire? Any suggestions? What can I do instead?